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State feminism: an analysis of the interactions between feminist movements and Brazilian National Congress

Grant number: 17/19788-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science
Principal researcher:Adrian Gurza Lavalle
Grantee:Beatriz Rodrigues Sanchez
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In what circumstances do the interactions between feminist movements and National Congress result in substantive outcomes as regards the demands of the former? This question is relevant to Political Science for four main reasons. First, it is part of a recent and innovative research agenda of the literature on the relations between social movements and the state that takes an interactionist and procedural approach and postulates the mutual constitution between the social actors' capacities of action and the capacities of State operations. This type of approach intends to overcome dichotomous analyzes that until then were concerned either with movements or with the State. Secondly, the inclusion of the legislative sphere appears as a central element of this proposal of analysis, which represents an innovation, since the empirical research on social-state relations, in most cases, focuses on the Executive Branch. Thirdly, the articulation between the theories of political representation and the theories of social movements can bring a new look to the analysis of this process of interaction between the feminist movements and the National Congress. The model of state feminism provides analytical tools capable of connecting the literature on socio-state relations with the literature on substantive political representation of women. Finally, the connection between the normative dimension and the empirical dimension of research from the analytical framework of state feminism can be considered the fourth contribution of this proposal. Therefore, this project has a dual purpose. At the theoretical level, it intends to analyze the strategies used by movements to influence the legislative process and under what circumstances the substantive representation of their interests occurs. At the empirical level, it intends to create analytical distinctions capable of ascertaining the effects of the interactions between Brazilian feminist movements and the National Congress.